San Miguel halves ad budget

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MANILA -- Brewer San Miguel Corp., one of the Philippines' largest companies with sales of close to $1 billion in 1996, has cut its advertising budget by 50% due to the wrenching financial crisis that hit Southeast Asia.

The company has slashed its ad budget for some beer products, such as Super Dry, while maintain- ing support for Pale Pilsen. McCann- Erickson handles San Miguel's flagship product Pale Pilsen, while J. Walter Thompson is in charge of Super Dry.

"It has been a difficult year what with the financial crisis and all," says Delfin Gonzales, San Miguel's chief financial officer. "But the spending cutback is not limited to advertising alone. It is a corporate- wide reduction of expenditures."

San Miguel has also reduced the number of its ad agencies to two from four. McCann-Erickson retains Pale Pilsen and acquires the Gold Eagle business from Basic Advertising. J. Walter Thomson keeps the Super Dry line and obtains Cali Shandy from Basic as well. Grey, meanwhile, is to lose Blue Ice, possibly to JWT.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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